Friday, June 27, 2014

Ten Bets/Variety Looks at the Possible Oscar Field/More on the Toronto Ultimatum

Good Friday to All...


Well, I've been teasing it for weeks now and it's finally time to take the plunge.  Here's the first "Ten Bets" list for the 41st Telluride Film Festival.  Here's your disclaimer...if the past is any indicator, only about half of these titles will actually end up on the TFF #41 program in two months.  Last year I my first "Ten Bets" list had six films that ended up playing as apart of TFF #40 ("Nebraska", "The Past", "Aguirre; The Wrath of God", "The Invisible Woman", "Labor Day" and "12 Years a Slave:). That being duly noted, here are your bets:

10) Salt of the Earth (Wenders)
9) Winter Sleep (Ceylan)
8) Red Army (Polsky)
7) Coming Home (Yimou)
6) Foxcatcher (Miller)
5) The Roosevelts (Burns)
4) Leviathan (Zvyagintsev)
3) Birdman (Inarritu)
2) Two Days, One Night (Dardennes)
1) Mr. Turner (Leigh)

Just under the "ten bets": "A Most Violent Year", "National Gallery" and "Queen of the Desert".

Of course, this could all be wrong.

VARIETY LOOKS AT THE OSCAR FIELD (and I make a few comments)

Variety posted an article yesterday looking at over 40 potential Oscar contenders.  I took a stroll through them all.  Of the films it listed, there are a number (as you might expect) of Telluride possibles including: "Birdman", "Foxcatcher", "A Most Violent Year", "The Imitation Game", "Mr. Turner" and "Men, Women and Children" although I personally still expect that the latter will skip T-ride and go directly to Toronto.

Check out the entire gallery of more than 40 films here:!41/other-contenders/


You've seen me writing about this quite a bit these past few months,  The Toronto International Film Fests demand that they will absolutely not program any film on their first four day weekend that isn't a world or North American premiere.  They've laid down that marker in an effort to prevent a repeat of the "12 Years a Slave" (and others) screenings that occurred in Telluride prior to screening at Toronto.

Well, yesterday the Toronto Star published a lengthy piece about the ultimatum.  What I found intriguing are the comments from Sony Pictures Classics co-president Tom Bernard in which he states that he thinks Toronto has made a mistake.

That implies (at least to me) a couple of things.  First, even though Bernard declines to talk about SPC's plans and hopes for the fall fest season, you have to think that it's a pretty big signal that SPC is going to play Telluride like they always have and that actually moved the needle on where I placed "Foxcatcher" on the initial "Ten Bets" list above.  I also think that the subtext is there to support the notion that Bernard thinks that other distributors are likely to follow suit.

Of course, the TIFF peeps are all upbeat in the article...but I think they sound just a little too chirpy.

I don't know...look at it and see for yourself:

More tomorrow from Grand Haven, Michigan...

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